From the screeching sounds of strings in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ to the staccato rhythmic piano in ‘The Exorcist’, film-makers have long relied on disturbing music to elicit pure terror in the viewer. Scientists now think they have figured out why horror movie music makes our skin crawl. Studies have shown that high pitches and discordant notes imitate the sounds of frightened animals when under attack by predators. These “non-linear” sounds, a term labeled by scientists, can be used to play on our deepest biologically engrained emotions.
For me personally, one of the best ways to celebrate my love of horror movies is to find the scariest and most disturbing horror movie music and blast it in my room at night. There is something ridiculously fun about scaring the hell out of myself with dissonant pianos and pulse-pounding ambient noise. In honor of Halloween, I wanted to share with you some utterly creepy horror movie music. You wont find the ‘Jaws’ soundtrack or the opening theme of ‘The Twilight Zone’ on this list though.
Sit back, turn the lights out, listen, and creep yourself out.
THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE
If your’re looking for haunting vocals, dark ambience, and slow building atonal melodies then look no further. I dare you to listen to this entire soundtrack with the lights out.
Although not the soundtrack for the film, but for the videogames, this is one nightmarish soundtrack. Drenched with ambient hallucinations, soft ghosts whispers, beautiful discordant pianos, and sinister over tones make this one creepy listening experience.
Hands down one of the creepiest soundtracks ever.
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
The use of silence, ambience, and unexplainable noises makes the ending credits of the Blair Witch Project incredibly disturbing. Are these sounds echoing, tapping, dragging? Is this hell? The unexplainable and unknown make for the scariest movies and soundtracks. I live for this kind of stuff.
Taking a queue from Stanley Kubrick’s soundtracks, Scorcese chose a selection of various modern classical pieces for Shutter Island. The music Symphony No.3 Passacaglia portrays the film’s nervous tension and dark atmospherics perfectly.